Flash of Steel header image 2

Costikyan on Randomness

September 28th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · Design

Talks like this are why I hate missing GDC. Even an Austin GDC.

(Spotted at RPS.)


6 Comments so far ↓

  • Alan Au

    Yes, but if you can get the talks online, you can save yourself a 5-day trip to San Francisco or Austin. Sure, you miss out on seeing friends and travelling to interesting places, but this is a much better use of time if you only want to hear specific talks.

  • Roland Gunner

    If you only knew the odds of their being a presentation that you wanted to see at each convention.

    Of course, I’m sure each convention has a list of speakers and topics and you could meticulously plan out which conventions you wanted to attend ahead of time…

  • Michael A.

    My rule of thumb: any conference with more than 2 good talks is a good conference. Unfortunately, even that can sometimes be asking too much.

    This was interesting, though.

  • Thomas Kiley

    Thanks for the link, a very interesting read :)

  • Erez

    Halfway through, and so far his argument was “random isn’t bad, because it was used historically”, which has nothing to do with the aesthetics of random, but then I hit this:

    “Part of my objective in general is to foster the aesthetic of a “broadminded gamer,” able to see what people find appealing in any game … Most gamers prefer to find games that they like, and often look down on ones they don’t, even if enjoyed by others. My games rock; your games suck, and never the twain shall meet. … This is a short-sighted view.”

    Actually, this is a self contradiction. “I foster broaderview, not to see everything in Me Vs. They. For instance, I see everything, they see nothing.”

    Naturally there are middle grounds, like “I see what you find interesting, just doesn’t care for it”.

  • Erez

    “Backgammon, a game of no little strategic depth in its own right, is inherently suspect, and inferior, because of its reliance on dice”

    I’m from Israel, where Backgammon (here called “Shesh-Besh” from Turkish 6-5) is practically the national pastime, and whatever strategic depth there might be in the game, it’s totally washed over by the random factor of dice rolls. It is a game where a total newbie could win 10 out of 10 against a veteran, just because of good streaks of rolls. It’s totally unbalanced in that way.

    A good example would be Armageddon Empires, where everything is decided by dice rolls, and the randomness of the hand’s draw, but yet, the game’s still is all about strategic thought, and a good player could have long streaks of bad rolls and still win.